CH-UH BOE Candidate: Katura Simmons
1736 Wood Rd. 44121 Age: 38
Children: 5 Schools: 1 @ Heights High and 1 @ Options (Deb Delisle Center), 2 CHHS (2013 & 2014) Graduates, both currently enrolled in Cuyahoga Community College and 1 enrolled in ECOT.
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Qualifications: As President of PTA Council, I managed parents and representatives from each CHUH building and addressed concerns relevant to all. This past year, we focused on the district's food service provider. After working with district administration, CHUH is now under contract with a new food provider.
Community: CHUH PTA Council President 2012-current CHHS Parent Football Booster Club member 2011-2014. PTA Member @ Noble Elementary, Monticello Middle & Hts. High
QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:
1. Most Important things: CHUH BOE must address EQUITY Issues throughout this district. I will fight for EQUITY for all our district’s students to ensure they have access to the best educational opportunities no matter where they live or which school they attend. I will work to ENGAGE all districts parents, to make them feel welcomed, informed and ready to participate at school and at home. Ask any teacher what they need to help their students succeed and they will answer, "Parental involvement." I can model and encourage active engagement from all district parents, even those who have often remained silent.
2. State report card: Standardized tests do a poor job measuring the complex process of human learning. They fail to consider students’ backgrounds, preparedness, and completely ignore factors that make a district successful (the arts). Test results should never be used as single definition of a district's worth. While schools must ensure that all students are learning, the test-and-punish approach harms rather than helps students who’ve traditionally been left behind and punishes rather than supports schools serving disadvantaged students.
3. School funding: Our system of school funding was ruled unconstitutional decades ago. Relying on property tax levies is unsustainable and causes huge disparities from community to community. Public dollars going to (often for-profit) charter schools without democratically elected boards held accountable to the public is a big problem. Charter schools can pick and choose the students they admit, and often leave out those with learning problems or troubling backgrounds, which shouldn't be allowed with public dollars. We must study other states; create a system of funding that is equitable and sustainable while still meeting the particular needs and challenges of each district.
4. Heights High improvement : I expect the future CHHS to provide modern learning facilities with state of the art equipment and technology conducive to creative thinking, problem solving and enhanced interaction among students. I hope that it will be a more energy efficient facility, for the benefit of our community and environment but also as a potential learning opportunity for students. I also think there is value in the fact that students will attend a building each day that they can be proud of and that proclaims their community's sense of what its students deserve.
League of Women Voters
The material contained in this publication was assembled in the following manner: Questions were selected by members of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga County - CH-UH Chapter and addressed to the candidates. Word limits were placed on candidates responses. Candidates were informed that their responses would be printed in their own words, which has in fact been done, and that each would be solely responsible for the contents of the replies. For publication, the order of presentation of the candidates is alphabetical with the first candidate chosen by lot and succeeding candidates in continuing alphabetical order.